Triumph XII: Tapah

by Shweta Narayan

Flinty dawn trails dew across my feet.
I dangle into sunken fossil dark:
a well, defined by stone as rough as bark,
the sound of dripping water, smell of peat
and time. By visions, thin as fog and fey,
that sweep my waiting, looming tasks aside
and hushed, integral mysteries confide --
but could just be my wounded mind at play.
Nine nights I've crossed -- Mount Meru to the Styx
and still I wait, immobile. Well, for what?
True answers? Healing? Am I merely caught
in expectation of some magic fix?

      I'm tired of hanging; let me live or die
      This wisdom's cost me more than just an eye.

Shweta Says: I was born in India and lived in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, and Scotland before moving to California, and for some reason my work tends to be multicultural. I have stories online in Strange Horizons and the Journal of Mythic Arts, and forthcoming in Realms of Fantasy and the Beastly Bride anthology. I attended Clarion 2007, for which I received the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship.

I can be found on the web at

What I'm reading: Actually, I'm in between books right now -- just finished reading Grass for his Pillow by Lian Hearn, and about to start Fire by Kristin Cashore, but when this goes up I'll probably be reading either Goblin Fruit or "And Their Lips Rang with the Sun", Amal's story on Strange Horizons. (No, really!)

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